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a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Re: Volver

Re: Volver

When a friend of mine gently steered me into going to see Pedro Almodovar's new movie Volver, I thought I would be victimized by yet another chick flick - being chained to a theater seat for ninety minutes, and watching "personas apasionadas" exchanging lovey-dovey looks and hurling themselves off the rock periodically. But I was wrong. The main characters of this movie were females, all five of them, and without a man you can't really kindle any kind of church approved romance.

In fact, the only male character got killed about 10 minutes into the movie, which was good, for his sleaziness was starting to make me feel uncomfortable with my own gender. Consequently the rest of the movie was kind of like what the world would be without men, and rather distressingly, it wasn't all that bad. No overinflated egos pumping the air, no lengthy exchanges of learned bullshit, no sign of firearms or automatic weaponry of any kind, no professional wrestling.

After you subtract the main story, which I think was just a red herring, the movie was really about coming to terms with one's festering past, about the deleterious effect it can have on one's present and about courage it takes to face it and overcome its old grievances -- all nicely wrapped with Almodovar's colorful cinematography and occasional tongue in cheek.

The flagship of the cast was undoubtedly Penelope Cruz - untamed and untamable lioness, proudly tossing her brunette mane around, yet not losing as much as a single eyelash of her natural femininity. Like a majestic liner on the waters of a small Spanish town, she plies her way towards the final destiny. Taking care of her business, networking with villagers when necessary, and dealing with her peculiar family (which includes finding her long deceased mother underneath a bed, alive).

This may not be the best movie of the year, but if you want to get a reprieve from the Hollywood canon, a peek into a different culture and a fiesta of female acting, this could be your ticket.

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